“For only $5.00 you can get a whopping 1500 calories to stuff in your mouth. And for that same $5.00 you also get extra fat, sugar and salt thrown in. But it doesn’t stop there, not only do you get the 1500 calories; you also get to keep them. Yes that’s right; you can keep those calories right around your waist to remind you of the great value meal you got for that $5.00. And the value still continues when years later the doctor congratulates you on your high cholesterol levels and obesity. Can you believe the amazing value of this $5.00 meal?”

We live in the age of Supersize America where we have been trained to believe getting more for less is better value. Corporations have devoted their energies to producing food that is cheap, focusing on quantity not quality. But with food, as with so many things, you get what you pay for.  Value is perceived by so many as a tangible amount. We need to ‘see’ what we get for our money and the bigger the better as far as we are concerned.

A much healthier philosophy would be to pay more and eat less. Yes its true good quality food can cost more. Yet spending money on high quality food might actually cost you less in the long run. That $5.00 meal might have looked like a bargain but what nutrition are you getting for those 1500 calories? Probably not much.  If the food you eat is nutrient dense rather than calorie dense you will feel less hungry, need less food and save on doctors bills further down the road. Perhaps the question we should be asking is not why this food is so expensive, but why is that food so cheap? Try thinking of value in terms of the amount of nutrition you are getting rather than its size.

Charlie Wilson is a whole foods chef and co-owner of Help Yourself Organic restaurant. She can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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